What Are the Race Deniers Denying?

C. A. Silva (frank@clark.net)
Sun, 19 Jan 1997 15:59:44 -0500

On Tue, 14 Jan 1997 smaceach@polar.bowdoin.edu wrote:

> bwhit@conterra.com wrote:
> >
> > As I explain to one PC clone at a time, and over and over, the fact
> > that the dfinition of race can be fuzzy at the edges doesn't mean a
> > thing. Try to tell Argentina that, because there is a debate about
> > whether the Falkland Islands is part of Argentina, Argentina therefore
> > does not exist.
> Sorry, Bob, analogy doesn't hold. In the first place, 'Argentina' can be
> described pretty exactly along a couple of axes -- citizenship and the
> geographical placement of frontiers, for example. The fact that there have
> been armed disputes with Britain (and Chile, for that matter) quite
> recently over where those borders lie doesn't change the fact that most of
> that border (95%?) is internationally agreed-upon. But if we're trying to
> come up with some definition of 'white'... well, the most complete attempt
> to characterize human genetic variation so far has been Luigi Cavalli-Sforza
> et al, _The History and Geography of Human Genes_, and they work with over
> 100 independently varying features, IIRC -- with none being more 'important'
> than any of the others. Two versus 100+... that's why Cavalli-Sforza has
> explicitly said that the racial concept that you're defending doesn't make
> any sense. He's also got a popular book out, _The Great Human Diasporas_,
> in which he talks about the topic.

Since you apparently have the book, would you please explain to us what
Cavalli-Sforza *means* by race? Just what is he denying. Also, why he
weights all factors equally? Furthermore, can he distinquish man from
chimp on the basis of gene counting? Or any two species?

> Other reason that the analogy breaks down is that 'Argentina' is a social
> concept, and there's no denying that race exists as a social construct --
> usually being used to trash other people who are not of the 'right' race.
> Thus 'blacks' in the American South and in apartheid South Africa wouldn't
> be any under illusion that there was no such thing as race on a social,
> economic and political level. We're denying that it has any _biological_
> reality.

So you are a race denier also. Explain, please, what *you* mean by race
and by "biological reality."